Like every year, Google holds its big annual developer conference in May — on May 11 this year, to be specific. Despite the focus on the developer community, the company has historically used the conference for product announcements and usually reveals what it’s working on for the next big Android version, which would be Android 13 this time around. But the company has also used the conference to introduce new hardware, be it Pixel phones or Nest devices, and this year, we might even be in for some surprises like the long-rumored Google Pixel Watch or the Pixel Fold.
There will also be lots to learn for developers, with in-depth sessions on new and established development tools and tricks, so no matter if you’re an enthusiast or a developer, the keynote and some individual programs are definitely worth tuning into.
Where can you watch Google I/O 2022
Since there isn’t a full scale in-person event this year at all again, Google is live streaming almost everything there is to see. The most important event is probably the Google Keynote, the one show that kicks off the two-day conference. We’re expecting Google to show off most of the highlights right then, only to dive into more details over the rest of the day.
The live stream is starting at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT / 6 pm BT / 10:30 pm IST on May 11, so be sure you’ve got your popcorn, beer, lunch, or coffee ready (depending on what time it will be for you) to enjoy the show.
Like always, all of the Google I/O is taking place over two days — May 11 and 12, 2022, to be exact. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the conference is still largely a remote event, with Google saying that there will only be a limited in-person audience. We understand that it will be similar to last year, with mostly employees and a few partners able to attend the show live at the Shoreline Amphitheater.
The fact that the event is online does have the advantage that it’s more open to everyone around the world, with no separation between attendees on the ground and those tuning in from afar. Developers interested in taking part in the sessions are encouraged to sign up for Google I/O on the conference’s website to get the full experience. In the top right corner, there’s an option to sign in with a Google account. Google requires you to use the same account that is associated with your developer profile, and you also need to grant permission to access your profile information to proceed. Note that you can’t sign up with a Google account that isn’t tied to a developer profile.
With the schedule now live, you can sift through the program and pick and save what’s most important to you, whether you’re signed up or not. The benefit for those who do actually sign up is that they’ll be able to chat with others as part of the I/O Adventure experience.
This year’s virtual Google I/O is free for all attendees and open to everyone internationally, except for residents of embargoed countries. The keynote and subsequent sessions will be available as a live stream but you will also be able to watch them later, in case you want to catch up—after all, there are a lot of concurrent events taking place. Google also promises “interactive experiences including virtual demos within I/O Adventure.”
What to expect from Google I/O 2022
While Google is usually pretty good at keeping the highlights of the show under wraps, there are always some things that are safe to expect or that leak ahead of time—especially now that the schedule is live, which is filled to the brim with interesting panels you don’t want to miss. This isn’t different this year, and thus, we’re expecting the company to launch a few products and make some announcements regarding Android 13.
It’s safe to assume that Google will announce the official start of the second beta release for Android 13, along with revealing more consumer-facing changes it’s planning to introduce with the new version of its mobile OS. While Android 13 testing is already well underway as part of the developer previews and the first beta, Google usually waits until May to drop flashier features and snazzy design changes with a lot of fanfare. In fact, the Google I/O schedule is already teasing an interesting change to how the back navigation gesture will work, spelling more trouble for third-party launchers.
Pixel Watch and Wear OS
The company could also use Google I/O 2022 to finally introduce its first first-party smartwatch, the Pixel Watch. The Google watch has leaked extensively, with real-world images revealing almost everything there is to see about the hardware after Google developers seemingly forgot a development unit in a US restaurant. Both it and the Pixel 6a have also already been spotted in a US carrier’s inventory list, and there are quite a few details to be extracted from the listing. Codenamed “rohan,” the Pixel Watch is supposed to come in gray, black, and gold, and given that said carrier has yet to sell non-cellular smartwatches, we presume that the smartwatch will also come with mobile connectivity. According to the one of the latest rumors, it’s possible that Google will only tease the watch during its event, though, with a proper launch planned for later.
Source: u/tagtech414 on Reddit
If we do see the Pixel Watch or at least get a teaser, Google might also introduce some more Wear OS features. The company dedicated quite some time to its watch operating system last year, when it revealed that it was working with Samsung on creating the latest update, Wear OS 3. However, judging by a look at the I/O schedule, Wear OS doesn’t seem to be a focus at all this year. Google has only one Wear OS event planned for all of the conference. This doesn’t bode well for the Pixel Watch at all.
Google could bring back the Pixel a series to the conference with the Pixel 6a. The Pixel 5a and 4a launched much later in the year, in August 2020 and 2021, respectively, but we suspect that this could have had something to do with supply chain issues stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. The first a series phone, the Pixel 3a, was introduced right during Google I/O 2019 in May, which planted it right in the middle of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, timeline-wise. While we know a ton about the Pixel 6a already, the lack of recent leaks is suspicious, so we’re unsure if the phone will actually debut during the event or not. Either way, it’s going to be interesting.
Nest Hub with detachable display
Google has historically also used the I/O to introduce new Home and Nest products, and given that we keep hearing rumors about a Nest Hub with a detachable tablet part running Android 13, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company introduced such a smart home device/tablet during the conference. We also keep finding interesting teasers and software tweaks in Android 13 that would only make sense if Google plans a smart home device like this. Since there haven’t been too many leaks of the actual hardware just yet, it’s also possible that Google will only talk about software it’s whipping into shape for a hardware launch later down the line.
While we haven’t seen too many substantial leaks of the Pixel Fold so far and no firm launch dates, we still wouldn’t entirely be surprised if Google would at least tease the existence its first self-created foldable. After all, the company has recently released its big-screen, foldable-first Android 12L, which introduces better multi-window management and a taskbar for foldables and tablets. That said, we think the Pixel Fold is in all likelihood further out, given a lack of really substantial leaks, so don’t hold your breath.
Google I/O is always an exciting time for Google fans and developers alike, and if history is any indication, we’re in for some neat Android 13 software announcements. We could even get to see some new hardware products like the Pixel Watch, the Pixel 6a, or the elusive Pixel Fold. Be sure to stay tuned for the developer conference.
Spammy ads are invading Google Messages — here’s how to get rid of them
About The Author